posted on Sep, 15 2015 @ 10:27 AM
With the building anticipation of the coming Long Range Strike Bomber announcement, a few more details are starting to emerge about it's possible roll
and how it will fit into the the current and future model/doctrine of the USAF. The bomber will be the new center piece of the USAF and be used in
ways that no other bomber, on a large scale, has been used before in the past.
Something I suspected and thought about for some time now the new bomber will be an all-in-one, sensor craft. Able to not only drop bombs and strike
ground targets but act as a forward command and control craft, taking on rolls usually reserved for E-3's and E-8's.
One of the new missions that this combat cloud enables is battle management inside well-defended airspace.
Today’s battle-management aircraft, such as the E-3 AWACS or E-8 JSTARS, have massive radars and rigid protruding antennas that light up enemy radar
screens like a Christmas tree. But the same stealthiness that allows the new bomber to slip undetected into contested airspace will allow it to act as
a quarterback for other forces once it gets there.
Gathering and crunching data as it goes, the bomber will use its high-bandwidth communications to send information and even directions to satellites,
other aircraft, and even ground forces. It could steer other aircraft around hidden SAM batteries, for example, or pass target instructions as
lat/long data or even video.
It will be able to act as an ISR asset with the adaptability and modularity of the aircraft's bomb bay. Able to make real time processing of gathered
intel. through the massive amount of processing power it will have and relay that information directly to other assets without the need to first
transmit that data to ground stations. It will have some of the latest electronic warfare capabilities that are out there, think F-35 meets
Something that I hadn't thought of until now is that the LRSB could also be used as a interceptor in a non-tradition sense. Able to carry a load of
air to air missiles into a theater of operation and knock out any targets of opportunity that pop up in and around the primary target area or act as a
stealth missile truck for F-35 and F-22's.
Its powerful radar, when combined with long-range missiles, could give the bomber another new role: interceptor, a role traditionally given to
smaller, more maneuverable fighter jets.
Some have argued that the new bomber should be able to shoot down aircraft, something today’s bombers cannot do, in order to give its aircrew an
extra layer of protection.
With the emergence of new technologies and the ability to integrate them into one air frame the rolls of bomber, fighter, attack and reconnaissance
are blurring. The day may come when there might not be a wide variety of aircraft in the Air Force's inventory. A day when just a couple of airframe
types can adapt and fill the roll the Air Force needs, when it needs it.
edit on 15-9-2015 by Sammamishman because: (no reason